Tips to keep them reading

brain quest question cards

This is a great product, although they may not have had my family in mind when they designed it 😉 I found the first set in an airport bookshop when looking for a last minute gift, but I ordered the next set from Amazon.

Regardless of what they claim to do for kids in general, I can tell you that these cards brought a new lease of life to my daughter’s reading. Each graded set has two decks with a total of 300 questions. What is good about that? Well…. My daughter is of the age where she likes to know more than me. Jump on that wagon and questions for dad at breakfast time are a great motivator. It doesn’t matter that I get them right, it’s the challenge(ing) that counts.

We started with the age appropriate ‘pre-school’ set which contains such conundrums as “Which one (deserts) does not have a cherry on top?”. After a couple of months challenging each other, we headed up a level to ‘kindergarten’ and “Find three different things you would use to build a box”. “Does that really count as a question?” I hear you retort. Who cares. If I were asking my six year old daughter that question in a monolingual environment I might doubt their value, but for an L2 reader these have plenty to work with.

Variety is important when trying to motivate sprogs it seems. These cards are only part of my master plan, but a very valuable part they are. Go ahead and order a  set. If in doubt as to which level would suit your child, and perhaps even if not, then go for the level below what you think they are. If they blast through them, great. They will be reading, and that’s no waste at all.

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3 responses to “Tips to keep them reading”

  1. Jenny says :

    I’ll have a look out for these next time I’m in the UK. We have the same thing but in French, it had never occured to me to look for them in English! In the same kind of vein, I’ve found that the Yes! No! Game ( is brilliant for getting my daughter reading and diversifying vocabulary (instead of No, say “I doubt it”, “I don’t think so…”, etc, without sounding like a lesson). You can play it as a game with the bell, or just take the cards when you’re out and about…

  2. Jenny says :

    Two more recommendations to add: Brainbox box sets, plenty of themes to choose from, we got Inventions and The World after seeing it in England. Rapid, turn-based, can last as long as people want. I give daughter unlimited time on the cards but I only get 10 seconds. Second, our city had a games festival today, we had a go at Dixit; don’t know if you’ve come across it, but it really is beautiful – very imaginative and open-ended, my daughter loved it and I’m sure that there are other ways to use the cards, as story-telling prompts, etc. As it’s image-based it can be played in any language. No birthdays in view, but as soon as I manage to justify the price, I’ll get it :o)

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